| 15.4°C Belfast

Kincora: Intelligence officer Brian Gemmell sorry for failing to pursue Richard Kerr's case


Brian Gemmell and Richard Kerr at their emotional meeting

Brian Gemmell and Richard Kerr at their emotional meeting

Brian Gemmell and Richard Kerr at their emotional meeting

In emotional scenes, Richard Kerr - a former Kincora resident who was sexually abused at the boys' home - has received an apology from the military intelligence officer who tried to expose the abuse.

Brian Gemmell's words represent the first time Mr Kerr has ever received an apology from the authorities who failed him.

Mr Gemmell was warned off revealing the paedophile activity at the east Belfast home by Ian Cameron, a senior MI5 officer, who told him this was not a matter for the intelligence services or the army to be concerned with. Now Mr Gemmell believes it was part of a cover-up of sex abuse by top people. He suspects that the intelligence services used such dark secrets as a way to control abusers who were politically influential. As a captain, Mr Gemmell put in an official report about Kincora to a senior MI5 officer. But to his astonishment he claims he was ordered to stop digging and forget about it. He now feels that he should have exposed it, whatever the consequences for his army career.

"That's the thing that hits me. That if I'd really pushed the thing through in '75, '76, you could have been rescued. I'm sorry," he tells Mr Kerr in tonight's Channel 4 News.

Mr Kerr replies: "Thank you, thank you for that. I've been in a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. I have survival guilt, you know"

He told the Belfast Telegraph that the meeting had made things easier for him.

"When I met with Brian Gemmell I could see he was a nice person," Mr Kerr said.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"I was in tears when he apologised, I couldn't help it, when he apologised for not doing more. It meant a lot."

Both men now believe that Kincora should be part of a UK-wide inquiry and Kevin Winters, Mr Kerr's solicitor, has launched a judicial review to try and ensure that happens.

However, Mr Gemmell warned that there would be continuing efforts to cover it up.

Further reading


I will reveal the secrets, says ex-Army officer Colin Wallace

From the archives

Top Videos